After I got my ankle monitor and I stepped out of that stupid ISAP office I called my DH to tell him I was on my way home. He had to go to work and couldn’t accompany me in my humiliation. My lawyer called right after I hung up with DH and for the first time in the ten years as my lawyer sounded like he gave a damn. “I know this is difficult, but hang tight for me” He asked, talking to me softly. He then proceeded to explain that in two months or so everything should be in place and I would have the ankle monitor removed.
My former case that ended in the removal proceedings would have to be reopened. Once reopened new evidence would have to be submitted explaining that my circumstances had changed. I was married to a citizen, I didn’t have a criminal records, was an asset to the community, spoke the language, etc. Everything was in place since it had taken so long to get my interview; my lawyer was as prepared as we could be. The problem was the USCIS office that wins the medal on bureaucracy would be in charge of sending my entire file (all twenty tons of it) to the office in Miami where the Immigration Judge would review my case and decide to reopen or not.
That was a bad strategy of my lawyer’s giving me a date to focus on. I was counting down the days with a fervor Mother Theresa couldn’t have matched.
One random day weeks after the monitoring started I was at home after work when the monitor started beeping. That noise is so annoying. It was charged and within range of whatever fucking imaginary zone I was supposed to remain in (which was the entire fucking area of the state of Florida) and yet it kept on beeping. It would stop for a minute or two, making you believe it was finally over and then resume its incessant high pitch beep. Four hours into it I was ready to take a hammer to it.
The thing is when sonar torture has taken place for a few hours and you are drunk on moderately priced Cabernet, the possibility of being deported gets to be the least of your worries. Maybe number one should’ve been that if I took a hammer to it I could break my fucking ankle in the process and not the monitor but at that point I didn’t care, at that point all I cared about was making the noise stop. That noise that kept reminding me that I had to allow this to be done to my person in order to stay here. The noise that didn’t allow me to fall asleep and more importantly concentrate on my episodes of Downton Abbey.
Cooler heads prevailed. I let out a bloody murder scream that shook the windows and made Max’s tail all puffy, I went up the stairs and launched myself on top of my (amazingly) asleep DH and finally cried my drunken eyes out.
I am sure I made no sense to him; I barely made any sense to myself. I was so exhausted (it was already around 3 am) and full of wine and angry, so damn fucking angry.
The next morning we both missed work and showed up bleary eyed and hungover (at least I was) to the ISAP office. The women in the office with whom I had been dealing with since being put in the program looked at each other in horror.
“That has been beeping all night?”
“All night” I confirmed, leaving out the cuss word that wanted to come out. The woman was pregnant after all. What is it about pregnant women, even the ones you aren’t related to make you feel like they need to be treated with kiddy gloves and fawned over?
They apologized and tsk, tsk, making me feel somewhat better. They took the monitor off to give me a new one, apparently the one I was wearing had malfunction. No shit, Sherlock.
I enjoyed that brief minute when my ankle was free again and watched the skin of it disappear under the ugly black plastic once more.